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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Last summer I had a situation in which my '03 400 would suddenly lose power, barely run at less than 4500 rpm, and when running at lower rpms the speedometer and tach would flap about wildly--pull over and restart and all would be well--for a while, maybe 5 to 10 miles then it would do it again.

It's being obviously an electrical issue I "fixed" it by disconnecting, cleaning and reconnecting (packed with dielectric grease) all the connectors I could get at. I never determined which was the culprit and it ran well again--until yesterday when it began again, got better for a while and then the demons came back.

This time it stalled and would not even turn over--which was perplexing until I took a good look at the wiring diagram. Turns out that all power, to everything including the starter relay, is provided by a single wire coming from the starter relay/main fuse block; the battery is charged through this wire. It is the red wire in the connector shown below¹:



It turns out that the metal insert in the plug side of the connector was not making very good contact with the pin in relay/fuse block. It was loose in the plug and could move up and and down within its recess, not seating properly even though the plastic connector housing was full seated.

So, I cleaned the connector with denatured alcohol, pushed the metal terminal in (down) as far as it would go and used a dab of epoxy (blown into the connector body from the backside with an air gun) to "glue" it in place.

Let it sit overnight and all is well with the world. I speculate that 60k miles of vibration caused the metal insert to wear away its retention points within the plastic connector to the point that it did not make proper contact when plugged in...

Oh, the little thingy to the right of the connector is a SpeedoDRD speedometer re-calibration unit. I have it wired so that I can send either the raw or corrected VSS signal to the ECU--the engine seems to run best with the uncorrected raw VSS signal.

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¹ - When the connection for this feed is less than perfect everything on the bike is starved for power and starts acting wierd, and the battery will not be charged properly.

If the connection fails when the engine is running the engine will continue to run off the generator, but run poorly at lower speeds because the generator cannot supply adequate power at those speeds. Using the turn signals or brakes will make things act even odder because of the additional load. When you stop the engine at that point it will not start because the starter relay will not get any power.
 

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Good find, Cliff!
 

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Thank you Cliff, these electrical problems are very hard to diagnose and I sure appreciate your insight and solution to this rare but serious problem. So I'm assuming your 03 Burgman 400 now has over 60k miles?
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thank you Cliff, these electrical problems are very hard to diagnose and I sure appreciate your insight and solution to this rare but serious problem. So I'm assuming your 03 Burgman 400 now has over 60k miles?
Yup. 60,353 as of the beer run this afternoon.

I was a bit taken aback by that one lousy connection could completely disable the 'scoot--then again it is 12 years old.

FWIW the '07 model (the newest for which I have a wiring diagram) has the same configuration...
 

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That's a good post Cliffy. Incidentally, I serviced a 2006 last year with over 88,000 miles on the clock and it's still running fine. It's had a variator and a clutch, and of course everything else that's a consumable, but what a good reliability record for the Burgman. I marvel at these bikes all the time.
 

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Great reference info cliffyk. And great job on 60k miles. I, too, am a firm believer in running my vehicles as long as possidle with diy maintenance and expanded knowledge makes life easier in troubleshooting and being confident. All equates to cost savings and joy of being in control.

My 04 Camry with 207,000 miles and 06 Burgman 400 Type S with 23,000 miles.
I am super excited that with the right maintenance I could potentially reach 60k too someday.

Only 2 things that worry me going forward:
-min or surface rust on frame
-parts availability down the road

Otherwise I look forward to many years with this Burgie.

Dave In Naples
 

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I am also worried about parts availability in five or six years later. I may just have to sell it and buy a newer model to get parts availability
 

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But it does seem like mechanical parts are either same to some newer models or close enough to work. Seems like biggest worry is body panels or cosmetic stuff.

I've already replaced a couple items that matched Chinese scooters.
One notable part was a brake switch.
Part underneath that activates brake light and sends signal to start bike.
$8 per switch at a local powersports place that deals mostly in Chinese scoots.

So all hope is not lost. :)
 

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The thing is, when you have to rebuild the engine or get a new one, you cannot simply find a 2003 to 2006 Burgman engine for sale. When my engine got destroyed because I miss adjusted the valves (see my post from August 2014), I was EXTREMELY LUCKY to have found a used 03-06 Bergman engine for sale on eBay. I don't think I'll ever be able to find one of those again unless someone parts out their 03-06. I could successfully retrofit the 06 engine to my 04 model. I won't be able to retrofit a 2007 model or above to my 2004 model. So the plan is, get up to 65,000 miles and then sell it for a newer bike in order to ensure parts availability
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Here is a section of the wiring diagram that includes the starter relay/main fuse and the connector in question:



The red wire is apparently the 1.5 mm² standard (approximately 16 gauge), so at 30A it would be right up against it's limit...
 

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The red wire is apparently the 1.5 mm² standard (approximately 16 gauge), so at 30A it would be right up against it's limit...
All the more reason that the wiring of the scooter should not be used to power anything more than to excite a relay when adding accessories. Thank you for pointing that out Cliff.
 
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